Westminster Foundation recently made a donation to the Sierra Leone Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary to assist with education support programmes in schools.
Sierra Leone’s chimpanzee population is rapidly declining and facing a serious risk of extinction, over the past 24 years the chimpanzee population has drastically reduced by more than 80% as a result of poaching (despite this being illegal), loss of habitat and habitat fragmentation due to human activities.
The Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary is working on many fronts to prevent the extinction, they do this by awareness education programmes in schools, producing and circulating posters with the chimpanzee’s new status as Sierra Leone’s national animal and that it is illegal to eat bushmeat
The Tacugama team target is to protect as much as possible the chimpanzee population in Sierra Leone and the rest of the biodiversity. But despite their efforts, baby orphan chimps keep arriving at the Sanctuary, unfortunately changes in attitude to the wildlife will not happen overnight.
The Westminster Group Foundation is a proud supporter of Katharine House Hospice based near Banbury in the UK and is continuing that support during these unprecedented times.
Katharine House Hospice provides specialist care service and have now expanded their facility to help support the NHS by providing staff and facilities during this COVID-19 crisis. The hospice has increased its 10 bedded in-patient unit to a maximum total of 26 beds to support the UK national coronavirus response and need in the community.
To support the hospice in this work the Westminster Group Foundation has donated personal protective equipment (PPE) including face shields, face masks and hand held thermometers.
The Westminster Group Foundation has recently provided a large quantity of stable commodities such as rice, sugar and water to the poor and disabled community in the Lungi area of Sierra Leone. The advent of the Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the temporary lock-down of Freetown International Airport and local businesses which has subsequently caused the community to be suffering financially.
The Westminster Group CEO Peter Fowler commented “that the Westminster Group wished to extend their sincere thoughts and prayers to the people and government of Sierra Leone as they work together to overcome the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Westminster has been operating in Sierra Leone for over eight years providing security at Freetown International Airport and local employment, it is fully committed to the country and its people and will continue to support the government its employees and local communities as we did during the Ebola crisis”.
The local community elders thanked Westminster for the food and continued support that they are providing.
On receiving 15 football tops generously provided from Oxford United Football Club to distribute to the local community in Lungi from Alan Wolstencroft. Neil Fowler decided that he wanted to do something different rather than just hand out the tops. He came up with the idea of creating a quiz paper for local schools to compete for the tops.
He set questions whereby the pupils would have to find out information on the different organisations that were involved in setting the quiz up, from Oxford United Football Club, Westminster Aviation Security Services Ltd (WASS) and The Standard Team, a Lungi based charitable organisation. Eleanor Samba a local WASS employee assisted in setting the Sierra Leone based questions. Neil also wanted to know more about Lungi so set the question “Name three places a visitor should see when in Lungi” there were no right or wrong answers to this particular question, but it was interesting to know what the pupils recommended seeing.
17 entries were received from 4 different schools. The
winning entry came from Bullom Ahmadiyya, Muslim Junior secondary school from
the Masoila area in Lungi.
During the prize giving the pupils informed Neil that they very much enjoyed completing the quiz and were delighted to have won the football Jerseys. The Teacher who facilitated the quiz for the school said that the jerseys would be worn by the pupils when competing in inter school sports events.
Neil Fowler is an WASS Aviation Security Manager at Lungi International Airport.
Government recognition was approved at the start of the academic year in September and has just been confirmed.
The Ministry of Education was so impressed by the infrastructural development at both the Liverpool Junior & Secondary schools, which has taken place in the last few years, hence the recognition.
of the teachers are expected to be paid by the ministry, with effect from January
2020 but there are five junior school & six senior school who are left outside
the scheme as there are not adequate funds to pay all staff in the country. The
school will also receive items such as exercise books and core subject textbooks.
This is a GREAT step forward for the community and has justified all the investment at the school. Since 2013, when Alan Wolstencroft first visited the School and started the funding of the building & equipping of:
10 classrooms all with water harvesting
2 toilet blocks including water harvesting and hand wash stations at each of the blocks
an office/staff room/store
installation of a hand pump and improvements to the water well
a library & laboratory for the Secondary school complete with water harvesting system
a Junior school library room complete with water harvesting system
Mr. Solomon the Headteacher said “Mr Alan, your commitment in supporting Liverpool schools has made a significant change and progress in the lives of the children in our community and we will remain ever grateful to you and all your donors for Making A Real Difference”.
In April 2018 Alan Wolstencroft of Alans Africa and The Westminster Group Foundation was introduced to our community by Neil Fowler from Westminster Aviation Security Services Ltd. They arrived at Mahera Beach with about 70 Oxford United football shirts and handed them out to children of all ages, as well as some knitted garments and blankets to local ladies with young children and then donated some full sets of Oxford United football team kits.
The community were so pleased to receive these kits as it enabled us to start official football teams for the children of this area. I am so proud to be the Manager of Oxford United Mahera Wharf football teams.
Alans Africa and The Westminster Foundation have allowed us to do
a community driven initiative to empower young people via football, education
skills training and innovation.
We have made a rule that all the children who play for our
football teams must go to school and we have taught them about the important
values of education and football that will last with them for all time. We also
have discussion groups with the children where they can express themselves
about football and other worries they might have in their lives. They can talk
openly and we can give them advice to help with their worries. The children are
also performing well academically.
We now have an under 10, under 12 and under 14 year-old football
teams and I have ten coaches who assist me in running these teams.
Before I became the Manager, I did not have much to do in my life as I did not have a job but thanks to Alan, Neil, Westminster and Oxford United, I have developed as a person, I am much more confident, I am better at communication and through the football I meet lots of other people who I can share ideas with. Our football teams have become so successful that children from other communities and even Freetown want to come and join us, this is because of the standards we set and the quality of the kits and equipment we have.
Alan and Neil are regularly in touch with us and during the last
year via the Westminster Foundation Alan has sent over more kits and money so
that we could buy football boots. Some of the boys are orphans and are
currently living in temporary accommodation and Alan, Neil and The Westminster
Foundation have supported us by providing mattresses, as the boys currently
sleep on the floor, and they helping us to pay to re-roof the accommodation as
the roof is very old and leaks in many places. They have also started to pay
school fees for a number of boys who are struggling in this area.
to thank Alan, Neil, The Westminster Group Foundation and Oxford United for
what they have done for the community of Mahera Wharf, Tulun and Amina, they
have given the children and adults hope and something positive to focus on
through the football teams.
We are very proud to be the Oxford
United of Sierra Leone.
The children attending Calvary Community School in Lungi, Freetown, have never had running water but now, thanks to Alan’a Africa, with support from the Westminster Group Foundation the youngsters no longer have to draw water from a well a quarter of a mile away.
A five classroom school was funded by the charity in 2010, but without any water at the school. Further support has taken place over the years, including the donation of second hand, good quality desks, chairs, other classroom furniture and equipment from the UK which were shipped out courtesy of Westminster Aviation Security Services Ltd and the 20 foot sea freight container was also donated to the school for secure storage.
Alan stated that one of the things he loves about Pastor
Mark’s community, is that they rarely ask for anything. “If they need
something, they try a bit of self-help to get things moving,” he said. “Pastor
Mark’s community decided to improve their facilities for the school and the
church by sinking a well and installing a gravity-fed water system. The
community held a collection to kick-start the project and, with the money,
raised they were able to complete the well.”
The next phase was to build a tower to house a
5,000-litre tank and, with a submersible pump, water will be pumped up to the
tank. A number of taps have been strategically placed around the compound
giving a readily available source of fresh, clean water and there are also two
flushing toilets, another first for the community
Having been provided with detailed costings for the
tower, tank and all the pipework Alan, with support from Westminster Group
Foundation promised to fund the work and the project was completed recently.
The system will benefit over 120 children who attend the
school, about 250 church members and approximately 1,000 people from the
surrounding community and is a major step forward for the entire community.
Pastor Mark was delighted that work on securing running
water had been completed.
He said: “Everybody is so excited. For the first time in the church and school’s 20-year history, we have running water. “Members who live close to the school are now coming to fetch water – what a great joy. “Our entire community sends its great appreciation to Alan, the Westminster Group Foundation and Westminster Aviation Security Services Ltd.”
The Cess Foundation was
set up and registered by a young lady called Princess with the aim of helping
disadvantaged and disabled people in the Freetown area. Princess is the
daughter of a member of Westminster Aviation Security Services based at Lungi
airport, who is also involved in a group called Standard Team who support disadvantaged children in the area around
the International airport.
Recently the Westminster Group Foundation air freighted some boxes of new polo shirts, courtesy of Westminster Group Plc, out to Freetown and these were donated to both the organisations who have distributed them to members of both communities that they support.
It may only be a polo shirt BUT small donations make BIG differences for these people
Earlier in the year the Westminster Group Foundation committed some funding towards the building of a four classroom block at the Sanaya Academy with additional funding that the Academy sourced the construction commenced.
Despite the rainy season the main structure including the windows and doors and the fitting of the roof has been completed.
The concreting of the floors, fitting ceilings, plastering and rendering, painting and making all the furniture and this will continue as further funds become available.
The completion of the building will provide much needed additional classroom space at the school, as the pupil are constantly increasing, this will be a big step forward within the community.
Just after Ebola was declared over in Sierra Leone in November 2015, the proprietor of Sanaya Memorial Academy, situated at Robis in Lungi saw an urgent need to revive academic activities in that area.
Being the only secondary school in the Robis community, Mr. Malie Kamara and his team approached the Westminster Group Foundation by applying for assistance through Westminster Aviation Security Services at the Freetown International Airport.
The school was in dire need of additional structures, teachers, learning materials and school furniture to accommodate and cater for the growing number of school-going children in the community who had lost a whole school year as a result of the health crisis in the country at the time. The request/application for assistance was then forwarded by the then General Manager of WASS, Mr. John Drummond. Communication ensued between the Sanaya Memorial Secondary School administrative team and Mr. Alan Wolstencroft, who tirelessly mobilised resources through fundraising to help the school. A two-classroom building project was budgeted for and launched in 2017 through an agreement that the school must provide an initial 30% of the funding for the project. In what was supposed to be a two-classroom building, the school’s administration went the extra mile and pulled resources to extend the project to three classrooms. This greatly amazed and impressed the Westminster Group Foundation donours when they came to officially open the new building in April 2018.
Apart from commissioning the building on that day, several other donations were made to the school which include hundreds of stacking chairs, several dozens of desks, cabinets, football kits for the school’s soccer team and learning materials.
There are ongoing efforts to start a four-classroom building that will help the school start a one-shift school day instead of the current two shifts. The administration, pupils and the entire Robis community are extremely grateful for all the timely help that the Westminster Group Foundation has given to Sanaya Memorial School through Alan Wolstencroft and WASS.